Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Travel Topics > Road Trips
Reload this Page >

Summer road trip to Yellowstone with teen boys

Summer road trip to Yellowstone with teen boys

Old Apr 12th, 2013, 09:35 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Summer road trip to Yellowstone with teen boys

We are planning a late July road trip from Portland, OR to Yellowstone with two 15 year old boys. From Portland we will head to Joseph, OR for 2 days to visit family and then drive to Yellowstone. I have made reservations in Cody, WY for 4 nights. (We may not end up staying there for 4 nights but I wanted to make sure we had some accommodations). We will probably hit Jackson Hole on our way home and then make our way through Idaho. We will have a total of about 9 days including driving.

We are not really campers and prefer to stay in smaller hotels, B&B's, etc. that are locally owned and run so we get some of the local feel. We avoid chain motels and would like to keep the cost under $150.00/night, or closer to $100.00 if possible. Interested in local culture, foods, etc.

Specific questions:

1. Thoughts on staying in Cody? I realize it is a bit of a drive from Yellowstone but I am getting a late start in planning this trip and couldn't find anything reasonable in the park. Also with 2 teen boys, I thought they would enjoy being in town so they could have some freedom to explore by themselves. Reservations are at the Irma Hotel in Cody - any comments on this location? I am going to keep looking for a place closer to the park so we can stay on the west end for at least one night.

2. What are the "must sees" in this area (Yellowstone and Cody) and what can we miss?

3. Is this length of time enough / too much for this area with the two teen boys?

4. What are some other highlights that we could hit on our way home through Jackson Hole and Idaho? We welcome any suggestions, especially those that would be of interest to the boys since we will be spending quite a bit of time in the car. This could include water parks, ghost towns, rafting, monuments, etc. We will likely make one overnight stop on the way home somewhere in S or SW Idaho.

5. Any good restaurant recommendations anywhere on this route are appreciated. Good food, decent prices, something to experience the local flavor. We are not really interested in overpriced gimmicky locations.

Thanks!!
smithval32 is offline  
Old Apr 12th, 2013, 10:02 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In Cody the Buffalo Bill Historical Center is an amazing place. The boys will love it, and they will love the rodeo there.

However, you don't want to use Cody as a base for visiting Yellowstone. Book a room in the park or in West Yellowstone or Gardiner which are much much closer to important attractions within the park.

Also, I would definitely spend two nights in Grand Teton National Park. You and the boys will be astounded by its beauty.

We are not really interested in overpriced gimmicky locations. In that case, go to towns such Dubois, Lander, and Pinedale and stay away from Yellowstone and the hordes overrunning Old Faithful, etc.

HTTY

PS I doubt you will be able to find rooms in the places you want to be, at the times you want to be there, for the amount you want to pay.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Old Apr 12th, 2013, 10:10 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,830
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Second the visit to Buffalo Bill's center and museum, well worth the time. If you don't mind so out-of-way driving, do either the Chief Joseph road or Beartooth Highway for some fantastic scenery.
Yellowstone has a lot to see and I know Old Faithful is sort of a "must", but I was totally disenchanted with the mobs and the 4-lane, interstate-like highway approaching the area. My first visit I was so annoyed that I didn't even stop, used the exit to turn around and go back to Grand Teton for the 2 days I planned in Yellowstone.
My favorite areas in Yellowstone are the Lamar Valley and the Yellowstone Falls/canyon area.
boom_boom is offline  
Old Apr 12th, 2013, 01:05 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you both for the suggestions! I am looking for rooms on the other side of Yellowstone - no luck so far but I will keep trying. We will definitely hit the Buffalo Bill center and rodeo.
smithval32 is offline  
Old Apr 12th, 2013, 07:29 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would stay directly "in park" if at all possbile.
spirobulldog is offline  
Old Apr 13th, 2013, 03:28 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,204
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
I'm with spiro. Always go for inpark lodging. If you are at all interested in wildlife they are most active early and late. That would have you driving a lot in the dark where you could hit things.

Yes, you are late as most people make reservation a year ahead.

Now the good part. Since a lot of reservations are made a year ahead, things happen to a lot of people that causes them to cancel.

Call, call and call for reservations. Eventually you'll start getting them and will end up with you locations and dates.

I went a couple of years ago at the start of August. The only place that was overrun was the Jenny Lake hike. It was my fault picking such a popular hike on a Sunday.

Old Faithful has a fair number of people but it's amazing that for best viewing you may very well end up alone. Early before the breeze picks ups and then late. I saw few people before 9AM. Then the buses roll in during the day as the drivers call ahead for OF eruption time.

After all, if you've seen OF you've seen Yellowstone and what else is there to see. Oh, YES!!!

You could easily walk the Upper Geyser Basin at different times of the day. It looks very different early and late in the afternoon. There are 5 predicted geysers and OF is the easiest to see. The location and the fact that it erupts app. every 90 minutes. The others are a lot less frequent.

There are other spectacular sights in the OF area. Morning Glory and Grand Prismatic Spring among them.

The Canyon area has giant waterfalls and is near the prime wildlife areas of Hayden and Lamar Valleys.

You can see my photos at: www.travelwalks.com

Once more. CALL, CALL, CALL!!!! Don't let somebody else get the cancels. Call twice a day if you have to.
Myer is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2013, 03:00 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks so much everyone for the feedback. It is now on my daily "to do" list to call and check for cancellations to stay in the park or at least closer to the west end.
Thank you!!
smithval32 is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2013, 03:42 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Once more. CALL, CALL, CALL!!!! Don't let somebody else get the cancels. Call twice a day if you have to.

This is so true. We always manage to get good places to stay in "completely booked" national parks by using the procedure Myer has explained. Persistence pays off.

HTTY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
lol2g
United States
15
Jul 6th, 2011 05:40 AM
Marcena
United States
4
Apr 18th, 2004 07:47 AM
Matt1222
United States
7
Mar 29th, 2004 08:26 AM
soontobemrs
United States
7
Feb 5th, 2004 11:24 PM
em
United States
4
Aug 12th, 2003 08:51 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:37 PM.